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message 1: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jes3ica) | 13 comments Hi group! I'm looking for good books on the history of medicine, especially women's medicine. Any time period is fine; I'm just starting out on this path of inquiry so my interests are pretty broad.

Any suggestions?


message 2: by Waldtochter (last edited Mar 25, 2008 11:54AM) (new)

Waldtochter | 1 comments Lying In: A History of Childbirth in America

I read this for class, and really enjoyed it. Pretty much what it says it is, a history, but don't let that dissuade you it's really interesting.

message 3: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth I'd recommend Polio: An American Story. (I think I put it on the group bookshelf already). It is actually closer to a history of public health, but its a gripping account of a seminal moment in the history of medicine, the first time the general public was really motivated on a huge scale to help battle a disease.

message 4: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jes3ica) | 13 comments Thanks Amber and Elizabeth! Those sound great; I love stuff like this.

message 5: by Bibliomantic (new)

Bibliomantic | 3 comments I am currently reading Sherwin Nuland's Doctors: A Biography of Medicine. It is very good, whether it is on the biographies of the important figures, their work, or on theory of science itself. Nuland throws in aspects of his own experience in the field from time to time. I highly recommend it.
Another volume, which so far I have only partly read, is Roy Porter's The Greatest Benefit to Mankind': A Medical History of Humanity--a nearly encyclopaedic history of the subject.

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 368 comments I have the Roy Porter as well. Encyclopaedic is a good term for it!

message 7: by Ari (last edited Sep 07, 2008 08:58PM) (new)

Ari (aricl) | 8 comments I have recently read Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment and King of Hearts: The True Story of the Maverick Who Pioneered Open Heart Surgery.

Both are outstanding books that deal with 2 very different parts of the History of Medicine and definitely worth the read (no women's medicine, though).

message 8: by Peter (last edited Sep 26, 2008 05:45PM) (new)

Peter Macinnis A book that has just come out in Australia is worthy of notice. Pasteur's Gambit tells the story of an Australia, afflicted in 1888 with a vast plague of rabbits.

Pasteur was scratching for funds to establish the Pasteur Institute, and sent his nephew, Adrien Loir, to Australia to pursue a 25,000 pound prize for a biological control method.

Loir fell among thieves, duplicitous anti-vaccinists, nest-feathering rogues and plain bastards, formed a liaison with Sarah Bernhardt and had assorted other adventures, lied to and disobeyed his uncle (wisely so) and in the end, had a victory of sorts.

The era and the area are both within my area of specialisation, and I knew the bare bones of the story -- in fact, I had even considered it as a case for treatment, but I felt there would not be enough meat.

I was wrong, wrong, wrong! It is a brilliant, gripping and complex tale. The book is only out in Oz so far, but use blackmail, threats or physical violence as necessary to get your hands on a copy.

On another note, the original query was about women's medicine, so could I suggest my own Mr Darwin's Incredible Shrinking World: science and technology in 1859 which is out in Australia this week and in the UK in six weeks? Part of the story is the battle assorted women had to get into medicine.

message 9: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jes3ica) | 13 comments These are awesome recommendations. Thanks to everyone! Grad school has cut into my reading-for-fun time, but I'm trying to tie this kind of stuff into my degree, so I'll keep this list close.

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